Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

This Year's New Priests

NCR has a summary up of CARA's latest survey of the new priests being ordained this year:
About 500 men will be ordained priests in 2013.... The median age of the 2013 ordination class is 32, a slight increase from last year. The youngest to be ordained was 23, while the oldest was 69.

Almost 10% percent of those to be ordained, called “ordinands,” are converts. Eighty percent of survey respondents said both their parents are Catholic, and more than one-third have a relative who is a priest or vowed religious.

Half have more than two siblings, while 20% have five or more siblings. About 40% are the oldest sibling.

Parish service was also common. Two-thirds have been altar boys, about half participated in a parish youth group, and 20% participated in a World Youth Day before entering the seminary.
Two-thirds identify as white, 15% identify as Hispanic or Latino, 10% are of Asian or Pacific Islander background, 5% are African-American, and 1% identify as Native American. Whites and Asians or Pacific Islanders in the 2013 ordination class are overrepresented compared to the general U.S. Catholic population, while Latinos are underrepresented.

About 30% of respondents were born outside the U.S. Of these, the largest numbers came from Mexico, Vietnam, Colombia, Poland, the Philippines and Nigeria. Foreign-born ordinands have on average lived in the U.S. for 14 years.

About 42% attended a Catholic elementary school, the same rate as all Catholic adults. They are somewhat more likely to have attended a Catholic high school. Forty-four percent attended a Catholic college, compared to 7% among U.S. Catholic adults.

Read more:
I was struck by the percent with five or more siblings. Just 0.05% of US families have six or more children, but apparently such families provided 20% of our new priests this year.


Jenny said...

"Half have more than two siblings"

I think this is a key statistic for vocations, not that it necessarily reflects on the faithfulness of the households. I think there is probably a great deal of mental anguish in accepting a vocation when you are the only child or only have one sibling. As an only, there's no one left to take care of your parents. If you have one sibling, the entire responsibility is shifted to that one person.

Now I don't know how those fears work out in real life, but I suspect there are many who never investigate a vocation because them.

Skywalker said...

Good article, and good point at the end.
The .05% is the number of americans with six or more children, right? I wonder what percentage of Catholics have six or more children? I also wonder how many of the more than five siblings came from the foreign born priests.